The toddler got the dreaded Hand, Foot and Mouth (HFM) last week. Yes, I know it sounds just like Hoof and Mouth and while my child often behaves and smells like a farm animal, I can assure you that HFM is not the same as the illness that effects cloven-hoofed animals. You can find most of what you need to know about HFM on the website for the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/hand-foot-mouth/) and it is often not as big a deal as many would have you believe. Much like any virus, it is unpleasant and annoying for Mommy more than it is for the child. The worst part of HFM is that it spreads like wildfire amongst children and it has a really bad stigma attached to it, I suspect because many ignorant people do often think of Hoof and Mouth when they hear HFM. Finding out the disease has made its way into your life is sort of like finding out you have herpes. I mean, I don’t have herpes…but I imagine that it must be like that…I swear, I don’t. I really wanted the analogy to land but now I fear you all think I have herpes…and I don’t. If you do, that’s fine. I don’t want you to think that I think that there is anything wrong with it…after all, the odds of someone getting herpes in this day and age is pretty high so…
Anyway…Hand, Foot and Mouth…When it makes its way into your house two things have to happen right away. First, you have to shamefully and guiltily call all your last known play date partners to tell them that your kid has HFM and that their kid will likely be getting it too. (You see the STD reference taking hold now? Worth it, right?) Then you have to talk them off a ledge because they are like “What!? They have Mad Cow disease!?” And you are all, “No moron, not the same thing – and Hoof and Mouth and Mad Cow are totally different too…Jesus, don’t you read!?” and then you have to apologize profusely and you tell them to tell all of their last known play dates too. Second, you have to disinfect everything the infected toddler has come into contact with, which is essentially every item in your house. After you think about the amount of time that will take, you will then consider burning your house down as that seems easier. Don’t do that though, my brother is in the insurance industry and he has assured me that burning your house down because your toddler has HFM is not a legitimate insurance claim. After that you really just have to wait and see if your child got a mild case or a severe case and of course you have to keep your child home until he/she is clearing up. This is by far the worst part for the whole family because I have yet to meet a child that LOVES being housebound all week. I have also yet to meet a parent the gleefully says “Oh yay, my pre-schooler gets to stay home all week with me and we can’t even go to the park! This is going to be exciting!” Because its not, its hell on earth. My only salvation was the small television I put in my son’s room in an attempt to quarantine him from the baby. It didn’t work, the baby got sick, but it did keep him out of my hair a lot of the time. And yes, it also probably killed a zillion brain cells because I think he watched about 100 hours of television. Whatevs...Mommy of the year!
Both my kids got a mild case and we had one really bad night but other than that it wasn’t a big deal. I could give you all manner of advice but I’d just be regurgitating the information on the millions of websites that discuss HFM. What advice I would like to share is this: Don’t read the comments on websites discussing HFM. Comment sections about anything, especially children’s illnesses, are the devil’s playground. Nothing good comes of reading these sections. I find that the majority of these comments are made by moms whose children have really severe versions of things, or by moms who think that everything is a catastrophe. You know the type of mom that looks at you sideways when your kid coughs near her kid on the playground? These women comment and they think they are helping. What they are really doing is fear mongering. Just remember, if you have questions call your pediatrician; don’t consult with “BusyMom77” because she will scare the shit out of you. My other piece of advice is to plan a mom’s night out one week from when you find out your kid is sick. It is a long week and you’re going to need a drink, or five.
Because I am nice and you might be super lazy (after all, you are reading a blog instead of taking care of your kid...deadbeat) here is the information from the CDC about signs and symptoms of HFM:
Some people, especially young children, may get dehydrated if they are not able to swallow enough liquids because of painful mouth sores.
Persons infected with the viruses that cause hand, foot, and mouth disease may not get all the symptoms of the disease. They may only get mouth sores or skin rash."
|First day fever took him out..it's the only time in 3 years he's sat still for more than 5 minutes.|